Nicholas Saiki Summer Intern Interview

Lighting Design Intern, Summer 2015

In lieu of a bio, we ask our interns questions about their experience at Visual Terrain. Here are Nick’s responses:

Q: How was this experience different from your previous work experience?

NS: None of my previous lighting experience had been in architectural lighting. The scope and pace of work were the biggest difference for me in architecture vs. my background. Coming from a background where a project from start to finish takes weeks, not months or years, the drawn-out pacing by no means meant that the three months dragged on for me. The slower pace did not make the workload any easier, due to the scope of the projects being so large the drawn-out timeframe was a welcome extension.

Q: What was your favorite part about Visual Terrain, Inc.?

NS: The people that I worked with at Visual Terrain were definitely my favorite part, but my other favorite thing had to be learning about all the types of light that are available out there on architectural market. Being a gear-head, it was fun to learn about a whole new market of lights that I had never been exposed to before.

Q: What did you hope you would learn most from your time at VTI?

NS: Coming into this internship I had come in with a very open mind to learn anything about architectural/themed lighting in terms of design process, drafting standards, and just how to work in a different facet of our industry.

Q: Did your time with Visual Terrain affect your career or academic plans in any way?

NS: My time at Visual Terrain opened my eyes to other career options that are related to lighting. It has made me take a step back and try other options in the field of lighting before I graduate from school.

Q: How much was the work you did/experience you had at Visual Terrain different from what you expected before you started?

NS: I did come in with an open mind to this internship, but I thought I would be doing more menial tasks during my three months at Visual Terrain. It was refreshing to be allowed to take larger roles on projects out of the gate. I spent the most time working on as-builts for a museum project, and the biggest surprise to me was the lengths that are taken to properly document a project for architectural lighting.
Another thing that surprised me was how my personality as designer grew. Calling vendors and reps was something that I was definitely not used to, but it let me stretch that part of my repertoire that had not been utilized before.

Q: Any other comments?

NS: As mentioned above, working with the people at Visual Terrain was the most enjoyable part of my internship. It felt like a small family, from the delicious shared lunches to trading stories of working in the entertainment industry. I am truly grateful to every person for the knowledge and experiences that were shared with me in the short time that I was “just the intern” at Visual Terrain, those were the moments that I will take with me into the rest of my career.